GOP Reps Want the US to Investigate Ford's Deal with Chinese Companies

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 31, 2024 12:10 AM EST

U.S. House committee chairs, Representative Mike Gallagher and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, are urging the Biden administration to investigate the involvement of four Chinese companies in Ford Motor's upcoming Michigan battery plant, according to Reuters

They claim these Chinese firms have direct ties to the Chinese military, Communist Party, North Korean government, and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. 

(Photo : CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
The logo of US carmaker Ford can be seen on the rim of a Ford car at the International Motor Show (IAA) Germany, on September 8, 2021 in Munich, southern Germany.

Export Restrictions on Chinese Companies

The lawmakers, heading the select committee on China and the Energy and Commerce Committee, have called on the Commerce Department to investigate and impose export restrictions on the Chinese companies handling the plant's design, construction, and IT processes. 

While the companies remain unnamed due to confidentiality, records provided by Ford were reviewed, as per Reuters' report.

Responding to the accusations, Ford asserts adherence to government regulations and high standards for suppliers, emphasizing complete ownership and operation of the battery plant. 

In September, the lawmakers sought documents from Ford concerning its partnership with CATL and hinted at summoning CEO Jim Farley for congressional testimony.

The letter urged Ford to provide a company official for an interview, focusing on due diligence before and after agreements with CATL.

READ NEXT: Joe Biden to Send High-Level Delegation to Taiwan After Its Election That Might Anger China 

Ford's Battery Plant Plan

Lawmakers are scrutinizing Ford's battery plant plan, expressing concerns about possible U.S. tax subsidies flowing to China and Ford's dependence on Chinese technology. Despite Ford's claim of complete ownership, lawmakers argue the Ford-CATL deal puts a Beijing-based firm in charge of the plant's concept design, raising concerns about military ties.

Additionally, lawmakers separately asked the Treasury and State Departments to investigate potential sanctions evasion by a Chinese company providing IT tools for the Michigan battery plant, citing links to North Korea.

Amid these investigations, Ford significantly scaled back its investment for the Michigan plant in November, reducing the initially planned $3.5 billion to an expected $2 billion investment, as per Reuters. 

READ MORE: Joe Biden Met Head of Chinese Firm That Paid Family Millions, Hunter Biden Business Associate Says 

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